tv Tavis Smiley PBS September 29, 2017 6:30am-7:01am PDT
good evening from los angeles, i am tavis smiley. long before bernie sanders, there was another progressive from vermont. former governor howard dean went onto become the chair of the dnc and developing the party's 50 states strategy. we'll talk to dean about president trump's agenda and how democrats are gting ready for next year's midterm elections. is there hope for democrat, we'll talk to howard dean about that and more in just a moment. ♪
♪ and contributions to pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. ♪ please welcome howard dean back to this program, former governor of vermont. he joins us tonight from washington. he's also the former chair of the dnc. good to have you back my friend >> thank you for having me on ta vis. >> hillary clinton is trying to
explain what happened, i am curious given that you were the former chair of the dnc to your mind, what happened and why did she lose? >> look, hillary would have been a fantastic president, she may have been the smartest person ever to seek the presidency. she had trouble connecting to people and the right wingers beat her up and the russians had something to do and we don't know what yet. it had a lot of reasons for it. if you win or lose a presidential race, has to do of what's going on at the time. trump rode a wave of working class. those are the ones that work behind globalization and they came tout vote which they no normally don't. >> i don't want to spend too much time looking at hillary's race because she's been talking
about that. i thought i can get reasonably honest response to questions. tell me that you believe as i do that the democratic party is in trouble. are you willing to admit that? >> yes, but it is in trouble for some reasons which we had an eight year incumbent president. the real reason though is our most important demographic age wise is people under the age of 35. they voted 50% for hillary and elected barack obama. more people under 35 voted over 65, that has only happened once. and but they're not democrats. we got to find a way to reach these young people. hillary and i are doing some work on the supporting groups and running for something in
devisable and color of change and voter latino. we are going to support that are doing it their way. i think one of the reasons that democratic party is in trouble is from an institutional point of view, young people growing up thinking they did not need an institution and turns out they do. we are going to have to let them designing their own and telling them how they're going to do it. this generation has a lot of progressive voices in it. you know the oldest guy in the race, got more young votes than hillary and trump cold bimbined. we can unpack that for hours. whether or not there is a home for this democratic party for young or progressive voices. >> of course, there is. they all voted for president obama twice. they voted for me. i was the person that brought them into politics of this generation. a lot of people came into my politics and ran the campaign of
23 years old and they remade the dnc when i went over there. now, they're in the 30s and 35 years old, they're ready for this. you know, i think we are in good shapes and of the institutional trapping of the dnc and not because they are incompetent because there is an enormous gap in between our kids and ourselves about how you make institutions and what they are worth and that we had to close. >> what you had is a democratic party that many of these young progressives thought was attacking was all out of bernie sanders, hillary puts out a book and she attacks yet again bernie sanders, i am just not sure if i am connecting the dots that you can turn around a couple years late zr that there is room for you. i don't think you can turn that corner that fast. >> well, let me step on the
accelerator because we got a lot of time. >> come on, come on. >> first of all, hillary says a lot of nice things to bernie sanders that the media did not pick up on. bernie sanders introduced a single payer bill in congress, she's done it many times. 15 democrats supported that and cosigned the bill with them. don't tell me this party is more in tune of what young people want. look at some of the people being talked about running for president of the united states. eric garcety. camela harris, and chris murphy. these are the young people of the future of the democratic party and there are many more that we have not yet talked about. >> the person that leaves the party right now on capitol hill
are not particularly groove. can you get there from here of the same leadership and strategy. >> the answer is not. there is a big difference of congressional leadership to get stuff done of an entirely different scale than being president of the united states. >> yes, the average age of leadership of our house is about 75 years old. i am not anxious to get rid of nancy pelosi but i am anxious to get young people in to the leadership of our party much faster than it is being done. >> do you think that the candidacy of hillary clinton although of not winning will have an impact of the number of women that we see put themselves in office in the coming years. >> it already has. 84 democrats running for
virginia. last year we had 29 contestants and at least half of those are women. we have grums lioups like emerg emily has been the anchor for women candidates for a long time. there are more women that have come out to run because of these young people. ta v tavis, i would say and i defer to your judgment of this because you have been a lot, too. >> trump's election was there. they had no idea because people can be as terrible as trump has been. the trump's election was essentially a rejection of every value of people under 35 holding this country. this is their test. this is their test as we were tested. i think they're going to pass the test. we got to pull our boost straps and get doing. >> this is to use your phrase where i think we disagree is you
cannot beat somebody with nobody. >> i agree. >> you have to put up the right person to run against donald trump and incumbents don't follow over like flies even as they are. i don't think you can rely on a strategy where donald trump employ implodes and that becomes your point of victory. a there are other folks on that list with all due respect don't measure up to the kind of progressive policies and politics that these young folks are turned on like with sanders. i still don't see how you get there from here. >> i see with the bernie phenomenal was twofold. one was progressive and one is telling like it is. >> i was conservative of money when i was governor.
all those kids were for me because i told it like it was like iraq and other things. too. that's an incredible attractive quality of young people and bernie had it. 80% of the people voted for bernie ended voting for hillary clinton. i don't think this generation is that divided. yes, they are progressive and they want change. i don't think there is a big test. >> as we read the report and and -- reports and the filings. the democratic party are also n untrouble becauu in trouble because they cannot raise any money. if you cannot raise money, how you win? >> it is important to funnel
money to these young people's groups. they are starting their own institutio institutions. they are the one that is organized the airport protests and what about the people that organized the women's march which quite quadrupled trump at his inauguration. they need to have some commitment as well as cooperation and they need and get passed organizing and it is not just about mobilization and also about long-term organizations. i think that's the gap that we got to cover. i don't think there is much bandwidth inside this young generation and there is as few right wing conservatives. most of them are center left and they are going to vote for us. the question is what kidney of enthusiasm are they going to show. >> if you were starting to lay the ground work for running against donald trump including some who are.
you mepntioned the names amount argue, cory booker from new jersey, there are a lot of young voices. i can hear the footstep in the dark and they're starting to make trips to all the right places. you know what you have to do when you are ready to run. >> if you were starting to lay the ground work to run against donald trump. i think the dye has already cast. we see who this guy is clearly. in 2018, we are starting to lay the ground work for a campaign against him. what would you be running on and how would you be organizing on your campaign on the issue and policy? >> i would use the 50 state strategy again. i know our democratic nominee is not going to carry idaho for 20 years if we don't start working on it now. there are republicans in idaho who we can reach if we would show up there. so that's number one. all 50 states. number two, i would make sure
that i could connect with people. hillary was very, very smart and if she rattle off a ten points plan, you can be sure it is been vetted and she knew what he's talking about. she did connect with some and particularly young women. it was harder because she's been in washington for so long. so we gotten some of these candidates and i don't know who they are, are going to connect with people. those are the ones that have to win the nomination. i have no controller. when you said connect, you used that word four or five times now tonight. unpack that word. when you say connect, what do you mean by that? >> i will give you an example. bill clinton who had the best connection with anybody i think since franklin roosevelt was president. if you ask bill clinton of a
question of education at a town hall meeting, he did not know what a real question is. that's what the real question is what kind of future do i want for my children. what bill clinton would have done is say something about education and in one sentence and now lets talk about your children. you have to understand the people you are talking to. trump understood the people he's talking to and not particularly in a nice way and he feels the worst and not the best in them. he understood who he was talking to and even with his profootball stuff the other day. this is his white supremacist side. we have to have a positive message, tavis, we don't have to say anything about trump. everybody knows about trump and most people think he should not be in the office. he's an embarrassment. that's not how you win a race. you have to put a positive vision of the kind of things you want to do for america and
connect with young people. i will tell you why barack obama became president of the united states from having been senator for four years. he was the first multi cultural president of the history of america. they see themselves as multi culture, that does not mean racism is dead or anything like that. they see themselves as inclusive and they care about women's rights and gay rights and they care about racial justice and all those things that trump does not stand for, we need a candidate that can touch them the way barack obama can touch them. >> so you think it would be a mistake to run against trump. >> bill clinton said every election is about the future and not about the past. you think it would be a mistake running against trump rather than laying out a vision for a brighter future. >> everybody knows that trump is from the dark side and he has no
vision. you got to have somebody out there who bill clinton used to say like sunny. somebody like that comes along one in every three generations or something. there is somebody out there who has the ability to connect with people and be positive as barack obama did in 2008. >> how do you think the democrats are doing on capitol hill given what they are up against? >> pelosi is grossly under estimated by the press core and people outside of washington. i think that schumer is the partest guy politically that i have known in the senate and in my career of a guy that's able to see in my corners. these are creatures of washington. they are not attractive of the broad number of people but they sure know how to get their jobs done. people making fun of the bright future and the slogan they had. the truth is you never could
have a good slogan when you are in a minority. when we have a candidate then we'll have a slogan. that'll be what's compared to trump. >> what did you made and you mentioned pelosi and schumer specifically. what do you made of them where they seem to come to some sorts of deals. >> there is two really conservative senators and neither of whom i would not vote for. langford of oklahoma and tillerson of north carolina. very conservative but it will eventually let them stay here. that's a big deal, 780,000 people. we ought to work with people like that. we can come together in this stuff. you know their bill is not a bill that i support but it does do something that's a good thing. i have no problem working with
republicans if something good is going to come out of it like the people i care about. >> let me shift to foreign policy, this looming battle with north korea is scaring a lot of people and it is easy to get distracted by trump and his comments of the nfl and calling players sobs and sending people to the white house. it is easily getting disstratra by that. somebody calls it wmd's, weapons of mass distraction. you sort of lose sight. how concerned are you militarily of where we are and how dangerously donald trump is playing with north korea? i have been concerned of trump and foreign policy and domestic policy there is a lot of crossed currents and it is a strong country, we'll survive domestically. in foreign policy, your words matter a lot.
he knows nothing about foreign policy and he seems to work hard. he's ill psychologically that he gets -- who are barely above the subsistence level. why would you take this on personally if you are the president of the united states. this is the kind of stuff that can get into problem. a lot of reasons that i don't want to go into, if this is a war, it will bae nuclear war. there will be no question about that. >> the reason for that is that's the only way we can stop korea. it is a very bad thing and i worry about trump because i think he has no self discipline and no knowledge and he does not respect the people he has working for him as he should. this is a real danger. >> we were told as we are
recalling back during confirmations hearings a lot of folks on capitol hill with the person he puts around him. even if he were a bit, you know, coo coo for cocoa puffs that people around him were the right people to keep on track when it comes to military decisions dochdo you suggest that you trust him and the military minds around it. >> mcmaster and mattis and kelly, i think they know what they are doing. i did not approve of kelly, what s he did at dhs but he's a good staff. the problem is, trump won't listen. that's a really big problem. you know nothing about the military and this guy had five exceptions and never served and you don't listen to your generals and there is ng wrong about this guy. >> i wrote a piece the other day that i want your take on. the issue that i tried to raise
and the word shame can be useful in fighting for r shoessocial j. they shamed bull conner and lately in our culture, we gotten accustomed to these words so the words shaming have been over used. i wonder if the time has come to shame people. he seems i there is a funny question of the people that continue to stand with him and stand around him and when or not they ought to be held account for enabling a bigot and enabling white supremacist in the white house. is there anything to that or do youu think that's a waste of time. well, i think we are fairly successful and ben is gone and
gorka is gone and christian has discover he had a private server. >> that's not because we shamed them, donald trump shamed him. >> we created an atmosphere by which, which he basically had to do something about this. >> manipulating trump is not that hard because he's so ill and had so many weaknesses and it is easy to get to him as we have seen over the past weekend. >> let me say one other thing tavis, i am asking for trouble here because here i am an old white guy talking about race relations. people say it is worst but i say it is hell of a lot better. we have lebron james and colin kaepernick and half of the national football league standing up doing what they did. that would be unthinkable. you can test me out on this.
i think race relations are better. having president obama as the president of the united states, the african-american had a black president of the country, they're not going to put up with any second class ship. i think we are up to a new struggle and a new attempt at bringing racial justice to this country. i think the athletes deserve an enormous amount of credit for that. the fact they feel comfortable of doing it is the statements about things are better and not worse. i am dam gload they are taking n that. >> i don't push back on that regard. i respect the sentiment that you put forward and on balance, i don't disagree with it. >> we tend to ask the wrong question. the question is not are black folks doing better today than 200 years ago. my god, i hope we are better off
than 200 kbreyears ago. how do black folks stand up today verses white folks today. when black folks are the first fired and last highered. you see all the realities and health and income and wealth and education and etcetera and etcetera, you are right, things are getting better but we are asking the wrong question. it is not about now versing then but it is about black folks now verses black folks then. >> no, i agree with you. >> i got 15 seconds up quickly. >> there is a movement now with steve corn, democratic out of tennessee calling for the impeachment from donald trump, is that a good strategy or bad strategy. >> you need 67 senators to remove the president of the united states, that has never happened. with 52 in the senate is no t likely to happen. first of all, the republican house is not going to impeach
him and the senator is not going to remove him and even if the republicans wi republicans were a minority, they a lot to block that. if mueller comes up with treason, that's a different matter. i don't see it all. >> howard dean, glad you are with me. thank you for joining us. >> that's our show tonight, as always, keep the faith. >> for more information, visit our website. >> hi, join us next time of musician tom moralo, that's next time, we'll see you then.
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